Give Greek life a chance

Bradley Schnitzer

Fraternities and sororities have been in the news a lot lately, and the coverage has not been pretty. A lot of people seem to think that these organizations are simply exclusive clubs for rich, privileged kids to party for 4 years. Others think that to be a part of one, you need to be a social butterfly. Sure, this may be the case at some colleges and universities, but in no way is every single chapter of every single Greek organization full of outgoing, wealthy people.

Fraternities and sororities can be very diverse, and this is true at Grand Valley State University to a large degree. Hopefully by the end of this article, I can convince you to at least look at different Greek organizations.

Before coming to college, I barely even knew what a fraternity was. When I heard “fraternity,” I thought of polo shirts, brightly colored shorts, and enormous parties. There was no way I was going to join an organization that put socialization as one of its main focuses. However, I gave Greek life a chance, and I ended up joining Delta Upsilon Fraternity. Since I joined, I’ve experienced more personal growth in one year than I have my entire life.

Not exactly a social butterfly? No need to worry.

Being involved in Greek life provides many opportunities to be social. From social events with other fraternities and sororities, to Homecoming Week and Greek Week, you are constantly meeting new people and almost being forced to interact with them. I was a shy kid coming to college but because of all the socialization I’ve been forced into, I naturally got better at talking to people.

Want to sharpen important real-world skills? Greek life has plenty of opportunities for that. Greek organizations are constantly planning socials, fundraisers, and other charitable events.

Being a part of one of these organizations can provide opportunities to help plan and execute these events. You can learn how to communicate with members of your organization and outside organizations. For example, you could join an organization and end up being a finance chair. You’ll learn all about budgets, as well as maintaining and increasing an organization’s funds. These skills do translate to many fields in the world after college.

Worried about dues? Fear not. At first, it may seem daunting to have to fork over a couple hundred dollars every semester for dues, but it is very possible. Greek organizations want as many new members as possible. If for some reason you don’t think you can afford it, you can usually negotiate a payment plan of some sort. Money shouldn’t be the determining factor in joining a brotherhood or sisterhood, and most organizations understand that. After all, that couple hundred dollars every semester is totally worth the experiences you will gain as a Greek.

Still not convinced about joining? Go through recruitment anyways. Even if you don’t think you’ll end up joining a Greek organization, go through the recruitment process anyway. For fraternities, guys will go out to various fraternity houses and attend some sort of event planned by the fraternity that facilitates meeting the brothers of that fraternity.

For sororities, it is a little more structured. There are rounds of recruitment that occur. Whether you end up joining a fraternity/sorority or not, you can make some great friends just by participating in the recruitment process.

Don’t count out Greek life just because you aren’t a preppy, wealthy, social person. There are all kinds of awesome experiences waiting for you if you just go out and get them. I’ve met so many of my best friends through the Greek experience, and I hope you give it a shot as well.